Customer review of video course
The 15-minute "Advanced" video, by the leading contemporary UK artist in this medium, Gillie Hoyte Byrom, gives an excellent summary of creating naturalistic, high quality portrait miniatures with fusible pigments on enamel.
This calibre of enamel painting is summarised here as sequences of the processes involved. The exemplary spoken text and excellent photography, in a brightly lit studio, describes clearly and succinctly the crucial stages of creating such work with modern materials and equipment.
It is as if one is looking over the shoulder of the enameller, at a measured pace that enables all the facets of such work to be readily appreciated and absorbed.
The information covers the preparation of the 18 carat gold base, the initial ground and counter enamelling, and the transfer of guidelines from a photographic original. Then follow the stages for the gradual creation of the features, correct skin tones, shading, the brightness of the eyes, and a plain or ornate, partly gilded background.
For successive firing stages we see how the painted plaque is supported and placed in the red heat of the furnace chamber.
The appropriate temperature for each firing is shown on the electronic gauge, and also how to assess when the optimum fusion point is reached.
In parallel, the information covers details of colour preparation, suggestions on certain pigments, the choices of painting medium and tools for this painting technique. There is advice too on planning the painter’s studio set-up for comfort and efficiency when working.
In demonstrating the processes on two specific subjects, the video covers much. There are the sequences underlying painting a young, smooth and delicately toned face, and in greater detail, how these unfading, fired materials enable the artist to show depth of character and the different quality of beauty of a vigorous, mature person.